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Anita woman arrested Friday

News

April 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Cass County Sheriff’s Office reports 31-year old Jessica Miles, of Anita, was arrested Friday on a charge of 5th Degree Theft/Shoplifting. Miles was cited for the alleged offense and released, with orders to appear in court at a later date.

Feds: ‘Meterological March madness’ mostly random

News, Weather

April 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) – A quick federal analysis blames most of the record warm March weather that gripped two-thirds of the country on freak chance, a nice southerly wind and only a tiny part man-made global warming. For much of March, record temperatures hit as high as 35 degrees above normal and averaged about 18 degrees warmer than usual. 

In Atlantic, the average High for March 2012 was 67-degrees, or 22-degrees above the normal average High of 45. The average Low last month was 39, which was 14-degrees warmer than normal.  Rainfall for the month was 1.91-inches, which was nearly four-tenths of an inch below normal.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration analyzed the causes and chances of what it nicknamed “meteorological March madness.”  Meteorologist Martin Hoerling (HURL-ing) said the main cause was a persistent warm wind sending toasty air north from the Gulf of Mexico. He said blame for a version of this heat wave is about five parts randomness to one part global warming. Climate change alone can only account for about 2 degrees of the added heat.

Woman who lost the use of her legs at 6 months is crowned Ms. Wheelchair Iowa

News

April 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

A central Iowa woman who was in a serious car accident as an infant was crowned over the weekend as the state’s new spokeswoman for people with disabilities. Jayde (JADE) Henry is Ms. Wheelchair Iowa for 2012. Henry is a 30-year-old from Des Moines and she explains her goals for the year ahead as the new titleholder.
Henry says, “My platform is to bridge the gaps between disabled and non-disableds in a matter of interacting by educating kids in school about us and to eliminate any teasing.” The pageant was held in Iowa City on Saturday and focuses on the person’s accomplishments since the onset of their disability. In Henry’s case, she lost the use of her legs at a very young age, but has learned to adapt and overcome obstacles.

“Six months old, I was in a car accident down in Leon,” Henry says. “When I was five years old, I started using a wheelchair, wheeling myself around. Now, I drive a truck that has suicide doors and hand controls in it and I get around pretty much anywhere.” As the assistant manager of an Indianola graphics company, Henry helps customers with orders on items from vinyl signs to embroidery, in addition to doing inventory and some accounting. As the new Ms. Wheelchair Iowa, she hopes to reach out to other women, men and children who are in similar situations as herself.

Henry says, “I hope to encourage other disabled Iowans to speak out and address their issues they have in their towns so we can get those resolved and we can all work together.” Any spare time over the next year will be spent talking before civic groups, schools, churches and making appearances at parades and other events. Henry will represent Iowa at the Ms. Wheelchair America competition in August in Rhode Island.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Iowa could see record road construction this year

News

April 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa may see one of its biggest years ever for state highway construction driven by lower bids from contractors and higher-than-expected state and federal funding.  During an average season about $460 million is spent on Iowa highways. This year’s spending could equal the record of $600 million set in 2009, when federal economic stimulus money flooded into the state. Key projects will include widening Interstate 35 to six lanes in West Des Moines, reconstructing the Interstate 80/U.S. Highway 65 interchange at Altoona, and finishing a new Ankeny interchange on I-35.

Work also will continue to widen U.S. Highway 20 to four lanes in western Iowa. Interstate projects also are planned in Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities.

Six Indicted on western IA Marijuana distribution charges

News

April 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Six men were indicted late last week on charges they conspired to distribute over 100-kilograms of marijuana in western Iowa between May 2009 and March 29th, 2012. Dennis Eugene Smith, Nicholas Dean Barnes, Christopher Lee Brandt, Gene Allen Smith, Justin Ray Smith, and David L. Lopez, Jr. were indicted March 29th.

United States Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt says on Friday, March 30th, all six men appeared in Council Bluffs federal court for their initial appearance and arraignment. Their trial is set to take place June 4th. Conspiracy to distribute marijuana as charged is punishable by a minimum of five years to a maximum of 40 years in prison; a fine of up to $5,000,000, at least four years of suspended release, $100 special assessment and forfeiture of property. 

The men’s indictment was the result of a more than two-year investigation by the Council Bluffs Police Department, Southwest Iowa Narcotics Task Force, Omaha, Nebraska, Police Department, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Autism Awareness Day

News

April 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Today (April 2nd), is World Autism Awareness Day, as designated by the United Nations General Assembly. Persons and businesses around the world are being encouraged to “Shine a Blue Light on Autism,” as a way to make others aware of the condition, which affects 1 out of every 88 children.

Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills. The physical condition is linked to abnormal biology and chemistry in the brain. The exact causes of the abnormalities remain unknown. While a variety of research is actively underway to determine what may lead to autism, experts say genetic factors seem to play an important role.

On Sunday, April 15th, the Omaha Children’s Museum at 500 South 2nd Street, will host Autism Night, from 5:30-to 8-p.m.  Sponsored by Autism Action Partnership (AAP), the free event is open to children with all spectrums of autism, and their families. The museum is working with the University of Nebraska Medical Center and AAP to create an appropriate environment for the event. The program is one of many developed by the Omaha Children’s Museum, to reach out to audiences with special needs. 

To learn more about today’s Autism Awareness Day, and the movement to “Shine a Blue Light on Autism”, surf the web to www.lightitupblue.org.

8AM Newscast 04-02-2012

News, Podcasts

April 2nd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

7AM Newscast 04-02-2012

News, Podcasts

April 2nd, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Ric Hanson

Play

Today is Iowa’s first-ever LOL Day — Laugh Out Loud for your health

News

April 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Laughter is said to be the best medicine and today (Monday) is Iowa’s first-ever L-O-L Day. That’s L-O-L for Laugh Out Loud. It’s part of Iowa’s effort to become the healthiest state in the nation. Iowans are encouraged to forward a joke, tell a funny story, even to bring a whoopie cushion to work. Helen Eddy, executive director of the Healthiest State Initiative and assistant vice president of health and wellness at Hy-Vee, says do whatever it takes to get a laugh and to laugh yourself. “At Hy-Vee, we’re encouraging our employees here at the corporate office to wear clown noses, wear silly clothes, tell a funny joke, all of the above,” she says. While the overall campaign is focused on the physical health of Iowans, Eddy says this L-O-L Day zeroes in on our emotional health. 

“We’re using the Laugh Out Loud Day as a way to bring attention to stress and to talk to Iowans about ways to improve their emotional health and reduce the stress in their lives,” Eddy says. “With the way the economy has been the last few years, that is one of the areas that Iowans can always use some help with.” It may not seem like it would be a big deal, but the simple act of laughing can provide a world of benefits to the human body. “Laughing engages nearly every muscle in the body, it expands the lungs, stimulates the brain,” Eddy says. “Laughter reduces pain, lowers your blood pressure, helps you sleep. Laughter is contagious. It’s hard to keep a straight face when somebody is smiling or laughing at you and with you.” 

If you think you have a knack for tickling Iowans’ funny bones, put it in writing or on videotape. “Go to our Facebook page and post a funny joke or a funny story or shoot a video of yourself telling a funny joke and then we will allow Iowans to vote on that,” Eddy says. “There’ll be some great prizes participants can win.” Learn more at: “IowaHealthiestState.com“.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Medical calls rise for many Iowa fire departments

News

April 2nd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say medical calls to fire departments are rising for many Iowa departments, in part because more and more aging baby boomers are requiring emergency aid.  In Iowa City, for example, the Fire Department, there were nearly 2,800 calls for emergency medical services last year, compared with more than 2,200 EMS calls in 2007.    The Cedar Rapids Fire Department says it handled more than 5,400 EMS calls in 2011, compared with just over 5,000 calls in 2007.  The National Fire Protection Association says the number of EMS calls to fire departments nationally has increased nearly 300 percent since 1980.  Cedar Rapids Fire Department spokesman Greg Buelow says the increasing demand for EMS services has forced the department to seek firefighters who already have paramedic certification.

During the March 7th City Council meeting in Atlantic, Fire Chief Mark McNees said the total number of calls in 2011 for the department was 183. That was down from an average of 225. McNees said also, the Atlantic Fire Department reached its highest level of strength for quite some time, with 37 members in 2011.